Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

February Books 8) Ilium

8) Ilium by Dan Simmons - billed as one of the big books of 2003, indeed 570 pages and a grand storyline including literary cyborgs from the moons of Jupiter, Eloi-like humans living a carefree life on the far-future Earth, and the Greek gods living on Olympus Mons, Mars, rather like the characters of Zelazny's classic Lord of Light, watching the Iliad being reenacted by nanotechnologically enhanced warriors. Our viewpoint character (first-person, present tense narrative) for the third of these strands has been yanked forward through time from a classics department of the twentieth century; at times he reminded me of Rincewind trying to cope with Twoflower's technology in The Light Fantastic. That said, Lord of Light and The Light Fantastic are two favourite books of mine, and Simmons pulls it off extremely well (with a few reservations about consistency - the trajectory taken by our robotic heroes from the Galilean moons to Jupiter makes little astronomical sense, a character with little knowledge of human history or past culture yells "Jesus Christ!" in frustration, and I think the differences in air pressure between the respective planetary sea levels and the top of Olympus Mons, or the bottom of the Mediterranean Basin, are insufficiently explored). My biggest complaint is that we don't discover Who (or What) Is Behind It All, with the partial exception of the cyborgs from Jupiter, and so I'll have to buy the sequel to find out.
Tags: bookblog 2004, writer: dan simmons
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